Category Archives: Work Environment

Info Box Content

The Info Box is an instrumental palette to the ARCHICAD work environment. There is content in the Info Box that is difficult, if not impossible to adjust anywhere else. A large function of this palette is to give an easy access to each element’s Selection Settings. There are, however, a few items in the Info Box that are not available in the Settings Dialogue. These are the Geometry and Construction Method settings. A handful of element types have these incorporated into the settings dialogue, such as the Geometry Method for the Shell Tool. The Shell Tool has an additional Construction Method that is only available in the Info Box.

The Info Box for all available tools with Palette only content:

The geometry method is useful for a wide range of functions. Wether it is drawing 4 walls with a simply x/y input, setting a shell to rotate a given shape rather than just a dome or arc, or setting your labels to place more precisely with a three point click instead of a simple click and drop in place; the Geometry and Construction method settings only available in the Info Box will help model more quickly and precisely.

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Importing Work Environments/Shortcuts

As discussed in our last Lunch and Learn, it is best to rebuild your tool and palette schemes rather than bringing in an old Work Environment to AC20. Whenever you migrate an old W/E into a new version of AC, you run the risk of missing or locking yourself out of new features, or even relocated old features.

It is generally safe to bring in old keyboard shortcut schemes, but it is also a good time to evaluate what keyboard shortcuts you actually use. So here are 2 tips for keyboard shortcuts in your work environment.

  1. To check what your shortcuts are and evaluate wether you actually use them, go to your work environment and go to the Keyboard Shortcut Schemes section. In the bottom right corner of this W/E tab, you will see a button to show all shortcuts in a browser window. This can then be saved as a PDF or printed out for a thorough evaluation.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.15.06 PM
  2. Tip 2, when importing a Work Environment, or portion of a W/E, you need to cancel the W/E search or it will just spin endlessly looking for W/E settings available anywhere on your computer or the network. When you click on Import… you will get a window that looks like this image below. This is usually where things start beach balling. If you hold the delete key for about 2 seconds it will cancel the search and allow you to browse for the Work Environment you need to import.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.16.38 PM

Tabs in AC20

You may have noticed that tabs are a little different in AC20, as some have mentioned. The intent is that they are supposed to be a little more intuitive, and certainly are more flexible once you get the hang of them. Here are the key differences in this feature:

Eye Dropper/Inject View Settings

You can now use the same “pick-up/inject” parameters system used between all elements placed in ARCHICAD, for the view settings between tabs. Injecting the new tab with new parameters does not affect the View Settings, but only changes the viewpoint settings (like the project map navigation).

Injecting view settings into a tab will make that tap a Viewpoint, rather than a view. In order to revert back to the original view settings you need to navigate back to the View Map origin.

Double Click/Single Click Tabs

Double clicking the tab will still revert it back to its view, where single clicking will maintain any the previous Viewpoint settings. Single and double clicking tabs is one feature of the tabs that has changed most significantly. The big improvement here is that each tab, wether opened from the Project Map (Viewpoint) or View Map (View), each tab is able to retain its original view settings. This means that if you open a floor plan from the view map, then switch to a new view (3d, elevation, section), that view is not dependent on the previous tabs view settings.

This also means that navigating between tabs by shortcut does not maintain the current tab’s settings. To match a plan to 3d tab if they are not from views with matching settings, use the eye dropper/inject between tabs.

Right Clicking Tabs

In AC19, there were very limited right click options when clicking on a tab. Now, depending on the tab’s source (Project/View Map), and content, you will get a range of options. If the tab is a Viewpoint, you can actually search for saved views using that Viewpoint by right clicking on the tab. You can also open tabs with current windows settings, right click to get to Pick Up / Inject, and more.

As in AC19, you can still right click an open tab to show it as a trace reference for the currently open tab. There are several other options added to the right click drop downs, such as “Match all to Current” and “Get Last Settings”.

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One last minor feature of the tabs in 20 is the less alarming “!” symbol indicating that the View originally opened for that tab has changed and the tab is currently operating from a custom Viewpoint rather than a saved view setting.

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Work Environment Migration

I know we have covered this before, in various forms. But for anyone who has not been here for those, or needs a refresher, here is the “how to” on work environment migration. First, you should not bring in your work environment from a previous version of ARCHICAD. You can, but you will be missing quite a few new features and options critical to managing a quality BIM model.

So here is your step by step guide to setting up your work environment in ARCHICAD 20. Some of us are already using AC20, the rest should be migrated in a few short weeks (so bookmark this post for when you need it!).

Step 1: Bring in the WWA Standard W/E for 20

In ARCHICAD20 go to Options > Work Environment > Work Environment

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Fig 1.0 Work Environment Profiles

While on the Work Environment Profiles tab in the left column, click Import… on the right column (see Fig 1.0). Press and hold the delete key to cancel the Import Profile search (it will search your entire computer/network for available profiles).

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Fig. 2.0 Browse for Profiles

Click Browse… and go to the WW Server > 06 BIM Standards > 02 ArchiCAD Systems > 06 Work Environments > WWA20 and load that entire folder. Now back in the Work Environment Profiles tab (Fig 1.0), select the WWA Work Environment 20 from the profile options list, click Apply Schemes of Profile and Set as Default.

Step 2: Import and Apply Your Keyboard Shortcuts

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Fig. 3.0 Import Shortcut Profile

 

Now you can bring in your own keyboard shortcuts that you used in ARCHICAD19. In the left column of the Work Environment settings, click on Shortcut Schemes. Follow the steps from before, clicking on Import, Hold Delete, Browse for your shortcut scheme.

Lastly, go back to the Work Environment Profiles tab (Fig. 1.0, 3.0), select the applied work environment, and click Edit.

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Fig. 4.0 Apply Your Shortcuts to the Default Work Environment

In the Edit Profile manu, select the Short Cut Schemes line and apply your own short cuts to the work environment and click OK. Back in the Work Environment Settings, reapply the work environment to set your Keyboard Shortcuts as part of your default W/E.

Now that all that is applied, you should have all the palettes,dropdown menus and commands optimized for ARCHICAD20, which should look something like this:

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Fig. 5.0 WWA Work Environment 20

 

Advanced Object Placement

OK, that title may be a stretch. Placing an object is as simple as selecting it from the Object Tool Settings (the library folders), and clicking in the view it needs to be placed to. But there are some settings that can make placement a little more precise the first time, limiting or eliminating the need to rotate, move, or resize after placement.

First, you can define the insert point of the element. This is the point the element will be placed to when first dropped into the model.

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Insert Point Set to Rear Center of Object

Once the element settings are correct; for all attributes, size, elevation, information, layer, you can click ok to place the object. But there is one more step you can take to place the element multiple times ad different sizes and/or angles.

The Info Box Palette has a row of buttons that gives further control on how objects are placed.

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Object Geometry Method

Option 1 in the Info Box is a standard placement option that will place in the given rotation in the element settings.

Option 2 allows you to define a unique angle for each instance of the object being placed, when it is being placed.

Option 3 allows you to define a new X,Y dimension for the object graphically on the plan, based on the insertion point. This can work well for cabinet objects, tub, and shower objects or even furniture that needs to fit into a specific space.

Option 4 combines both options 1 and 2 into a three click placement to define rotation and size.

Go ahead and play around with these info box setting, and make sure you are aware of the insert point of the objects element settings before placing!

 

Folder/Subfolder Navigation

BIM6x wrote about collapsing/expanding all folders in ARCHICAD for easier navigation. I suggest you take a look at their article here.

For us, what this means is, finding that specific view map/layout book/library manager element is actually pretty easy. A fully expanded view map (see below) can be a lot to scroll through to find the folder or specific drawing/view you need.

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Hold down alt/option key and click on the folder dropdown for the elements you want to collapse. In this case it is the view map project name list.Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 8.59.20 AM

Now when you expand the folder out again (without the alt/option key held), you get a fully collapsed view map that you can expand folder by folder to find the exact view/layout you are looking for.Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 8.59.59 AM

This is a mac function, not specific to ARCHICAD. So it will work on any folder/subfolder navigation within ARCHICAD; such as the Project Map, View Map, Layout Book, Publisher, Place Drawing dialogue, or the Library Manager. It also works in the finder in list view.

Don’t Forget the Teamwork Palette

If you don’t have the teamwork palette included in your work environment, you should. It is great to see who else is in the project, make reservations, release, reserve all, release all, send/receive… but one of the unsung features of the palette is the messaging and assigning feature. By simply clicking the “message” icon   Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 1.54.29 PM.png  on the palette you can send a message to any team member:

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This message can include a screen capture view created directly from the above dialogue. The teamwork palette also allows you to assign elements to a team member for review. This has been very useful to me, when I needed to ask a question to a busy team member.

The last thing you can do with messages is assign a task. You can request a team member s/r, release all, leave the teamwork project, receive changes, etc. This is very helpful to avoid the “hey can you send and receive” comments or “can you release all”, that get thrown around regularly and disrupt other users.

This is certainly not the only way to communicate, but it is a lot less disruptive than continually asking questions on mundane or non-urgent details.